Pro-Donald J. Trump GOP U.S. Senate challenger Danny Tarkanian has blown past incumbent Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), an opponent of the president and much of his agenda, per a new poll out of the state of Nevada obtained exclusively by Breitbart News ahead of its public release.
Tarkanian, per the new poll from JMC Analytics, is up at 39 percent in the new survey. His lead towers eight points over the incumbent Heller’s 31 percent, spelling certain trouble for Senate GOP establishment forces desperate to save Heller’s seat. A whopping 31 percent are undecided between Heller and Tarkanian. Even so, when given the choice of Heller versus not Tarkanian, a majority of Republicans in Nevada—51 percent—want someone other than Heller, 31 percent would renominate Heller, and 18 percent are undecided.
The survey of 700 likely GOP voters in Nevada was conducted from Aug. 24 to Aug. 25 and has a margin of error of 3.7 percent with a 95 percent confidence interval.
Heller’s approval rating is underwater, down to just 34 percent of Nevada Republicans approving of his job performance, while 48 percent disapprove. Sixteen percent have no opinion and two percent have not heard of Heller.
Tarkanian’s numbers are exactly the opposite, as he has high approval ratings among those who know him. A significant 42 percent approve of Tarkanian, while 23 percent disapprove, 30 percent have no opinion, and five percent have never heard of him.
President Donald Trump’s approval ratings are sky-high among Nevada Republicans, with 80 percent approving of the president’s job—and only 14 percent disapproving, while six percent have no opinion.
JMC Analytics’ John Couvillon wrote in his analysis of the poll:
JMC Analytics and Polling independently conducted this poll for the Nevada U.S. Senate Republican primary to be held next year. Next year’s Senate race already has the potential to be competitive, given that (1) Senator Heller won his first term in 2012 with a 46-45% plurality, and (2) in last year’s Presidential election, Hillary Clinton carried the state 48-46%. But while the general election will be a challenge (Nevada is one of two Republican held Senate seats that Democrats could put in play next November), Senator Heller has a more immediate problem: he faces a substantial primary challenge as well.
Couvillon continued by noting that Tarkanian is a serious contender, and that a Trump endorsement of either candidate could significantly swing this race. Couvillon wrote:
This is one primary race where President Trump’s involvement could make a difference. Republicans in Nevada give him an 80-14% approval rating, and a Trump endorsement would by a 64-13% margin make the respondent more likely to support his endorsed candidate. And given Tarkanian’s recent strong endorsement of Trump policies, it appears some of that is already happening: those more likely to be impacted by a Trump endorsement favor Tarkanian 43-30% over Heller (27% undecided), while those less likely to be impacted by a Trump endorsement favor Heller 35-23% (42% undecided). Those who say the endorsement doesn’t matter favor Tarkanian 35-31% (35% undecided) – these undecideds almost exactly equal the margin by which Tarkanian leads Heller. In summary, Senator Heller faces a substantial primary challenge from Danny Tarkanian in a race that ultimately could determine partisan control of the U.S. Senate.
Tarkanian’s new lead over Heller comes on the heels of an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee.
“Danny Tarkanian is a conservative outsider who will support the ‘America First’ policies our nation needs to survive and thrive, including building the border wall, ending sanctuary cities, and finally repealing Obamacare,” Palin said in the statement endorsing Tarkanian, provided exclusively to Breitbart News. “Commonsense Conservatives in Nevada and across America need to unite and help win this critical fight. I strongly endorse Danny Tarkanian for the United States Senate and look forward to helping him win this important election.”
“I thank Governor Palin for her endorsement and appreciate the confidence she has shown in our campaign,” Tarkanian said in response, thanking Palin for the endorsement. “I will hold Dean Heller accountable for turning his back on Nevadans by voting against the repeal of Obamacare and helping Hillary Clinton win Nevada by attacking Donald Trump over and over again.”
Tarkanian will join Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 on Saturday morning this weekend to discuss his new lead in the Senate race.